Challenging councils for what you believe in is paying off!

by Readers Question

3 months ago

Challenging councils for what you believe in is paying off!

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Challenging councils for what you believe in is paying off!

I have just seen that challenging councils for what you believe in is certainly paying off.

“Barnsley Council have received a proposal to legally challenge the Council’s decision to take forward the Selective Licensing scheme in the four designations of the borough.

Whilst we believe that the grounds for the decision can be evidenced, we believe it to be good practice to review information stated and report findings back to cabinet as soon as is reasonably practicable before continuing.

All those parties affected by the decision will receive further information in due course.”

Click Here to read about the Barnsley Selective Licensing scheme.

Liz

 



Comments

Mick Roberts

3 months ago

I'll comment so can get receive comment's. As I'm curious.
I'm challenging Nottingham Selective Licensing Tenants Tax rip-off scheme.
I think we too late now as they bringing in 1 Aug. But I'd like to know who can see some'at obvious and may be able to stop certain things.
My main gripe, is Nottingham are bringing this in EVERYWHERE 90% of rented houses. And some of these roads are VERY GOOD no trouble roads.
I've done Freedom of Information requests for evidence of trouble etc. on these roads and at moment, Nottingham are declining to give me this info.
We reckon cause they have no evidence of trouble on these roads and apparently Selective Licensing rules conditions etc. are that u must be experiencing these problems to be able to bring in Selective Licensing on these roads.
Quick conversations, they have said It is the area. How big is an area?
The next town has trouble so u do too?

Mandy Thomson

3 months ago

Since April 2015, local authorities have also been able to introduce selective licensing (SL) on four additional grounds (in addition to anti social behaviour and low demand):
-poor property conditions
-high levels of migration
-high level of deprivation
-high levels of crime
Also since then, councils have to seek permission from the Secretary of State if they want to licence more than 20% of their borough. See Selective licensing in the private rented
sector

I was one of the landlords who challenged the Croydon scheme by judicial review. We lost; the initial legal action alone cost in excess of £35,000.
We used the same legal team that won for Constantinos Regas in Enfield, and they recommended we challenge the consultation, not the licence designation itself, as they believed it was easier to argue the consultation was flawed.
However, in the case of Enfield, the council had made the mistake of not running the consultation for the required period, whereas Croydon had learned from this and ensured no such obvious errors were made with its consultation. Our legal argument was therefore more opinion based, not based on quantitive factual evidence. It could have been taken either way, whether you were for or against the scheme.
A judicial review is notoriously difficult to win and ruinously expensive.
We all know most councils only use SL as an excuse to raise revenue (I know a large portfolio landlord who was actually told this, off the record, by a council official), and to be seen to be taking tough action on private landlords. I know of very few, if any, Conservative councils who have introduced SL.

Mick Roberts

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 26/04/2018 - 12:59
Yes Nottingham is Labour council with apparently 50+ Labour Councillors and 2 Conservative.

Thought they was doing it for tenants, now I've convinced tenants that is a Tax on the good lot of tenants and these tenants are writing into to the Councillors saying What are you playing it, the Labour Council din't expect that they are unhappy at them now being the ones to blame for forthcoming higher rents

Michael Bond

3 months ago

Here in Dorset we persuaded the Bournemouth Borough Council not to go ahead with SL in parts of Bournemouth (parts of Boscombe if you know this area). This was led by the Dorset branch of the NLA. We had a lot of help from NLA in London where there is an expert in SL in the Headquarters.
Suggestions :
Get your NLA members actively involved.
Cooperate with RLA and any local landlord bodies.
Ask NLA in London.for help.
Respond to the consultation if not too late.
Write to all councillors - emphasise cost to tenants as fees will feed into rent levels.
Write to MPs - same points.
Get in touch with the Scrutiny Committee who are supposed to keep hold Cabinet to account.
Demand information on all reported instances of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in the area. Council/police should have information. You will find for example that someone walking home from a club at 3.00 am who is several miles from his home and who piddles against a wall in one of the streets where they want to introduce SL will be called in aid to show that ASB is widespread in that street.
Ask what are the aims of introducing SL in a given area. Is it to reduce ASB, improve poor housing or what? How is this to be quantified and what are targets? -- eg reduction of reported instances of ASB in an area by 30% pa. Who is going to collect information, collate it and report to members, such as full Council. Cabinet, Scrutiny Committee, and how often -- monthly, quarterly? This ought to be possible using existing powers. In any event local authority bureaucrats will have to think and do real work (rather than holding meetings round the coffee machine). Or reduce the number of "rogue", ie criminal, landlords operating in the area by 25% pa, in which case how many are there? They should know but you could consider a little judicious help in targeting. This is not what officials like or are used to. I think this was the clincher in Bournemouth.

DavidThomas

5 days ago

Heres our petition challenging Nottingham City Councils Selective Licensing. Please help and support us by signing here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/223039

DavidThomas

5 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 26/04/2018 - 13:41
Petition against Nottingham's Selective Licensing: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/223039

Mick Roberts

4 days ago

I've just won my FOI appeal and Nottm Council has now had to give me the info, and as I suspected no trouble, no complaints, no asbos on some of my roads.
So I started Ombudsman complaint off 2 weeks ago.
But I bet people on here know a better route I should be pursuing, someone high up that may rule they shun't have bought it in on these roads.
As I can't believe no one had took it to Ombudsman before.

Council said Secretary of state signed it off. I say he don't know the area, he's just signed off what Nottm Council has sent them.


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